Our Music Our Selves

Yaum-ul-Khamees (“Thor’s Day”), 22 Dhul-Hijjah 1435 (October 16, 2014) — Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5

Posted in Programming by Lester Knibbs on the October 9th, 2014

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

As-Salaam alaikum! Peace!

Our Music Our Selves is an exploration of the symphonic structure and message of the Qur’an and an exploration of the symphonic structure and message of our serious music, and of the role of both in shaping our human history and identity.

We ask and attempt to answer the questions, Who are we? What are we? and What will we become? Our mission is a mission of healing, a sacred jihaad, to overcome the damaging effects of over two thousand years of religious lies which enslave the vast majority of human beings, and to overcome, as well, the damaging effects of the Middle Passage, the centuries of terroristic exploitation and oppression, and the generations of self-perpetuating self-destruction which continue to afflict the African American people. This program is not entertainment; it is struggle, healing, and change.

Our scheduled broadcast time is every Thursday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/americanmuslim360. Our call-in number is 646-716-4478. You can call in to listen or, by dialing “1″, join our conversation. Call us! We love to hear from you.

THIS YAUM-UL-KHAMEES (“THOR’S DAY), 22nd of Dhul-Hijjah 1435 (October 16, 2014):

Our theme for the year 1435 A.H. has been The Chaconne. See complete programming for the year. We will not be having a two-week review of The Chaconne.

This week, we continue our series of 19th century symphonic works with the Symphony No. 5 composed in 1902 by the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler (1860-1911). This symphony has five movements — the first, a funeral march in C-sharp minor; the second, a stormy and energetic movement in A minor; the third, a huge and (mostly) joyful scherzo in D major; the fourth, a very slow and very lyrical movement for only strings and harp in F major; and the fifth, a joyful and energetic rondo in D major. These five movements are grouped into three parts — the first and second movements comprise the first part; the scherzo by itself is the second part; and the fourth and fifth movements comprise the third part. For technical reasons, I prefer to say that this symphony is in D major.

This symphony — like eight of Mahler’s nine symphonies — is composed for a very large orchestra.

All of Mahler’s symphonies use cyclic form — re-using themes from earlier movements in later movements. In this symphony, the first two movements share much thematic material, and the last two movements share much thematic material. In addition, a huge, joyful climax in the key of D major in the second movement is brought back, in more complete form, at the end of the finale.


Next week — the last week of the year 1435 A.H. —  we plan to share with you the Mahler’s awesome second symphony (“Resurrection”), scored for huge orchestra, with full chorus and soprano and contralto soloists.

  • 22 Dhul-Ḥijjah 1435 (October 16, 2014):
    Gustav Mahler, Symphony #5 in D major (1902)
  • 29 Dhul-Ḥijjah 1435 (October 23, 2014):
    Gustav Mahler, Symphony #2 in C minor (1894)


Next week will also be the last program of “Our Music Our Selves” on American Muslim 360 Blogtalk Radio. This is a personal decision on the part of myself, based on limitations of time, energy and focus. There are so many things we all need to be doing, and we need to prioritize and make sometimes difficult decisions. We plan to continue sharing information and ideas on this blog.

Thank you for listening to us over the months and years, thanks to our Brother Thomas Abdul-Salaam, Executive Director of American Muslim 360, for sponsoring us, and thanks above all to Allah who makes all things possible. May Allah continue to bless you.


As usual, we continue to call on our Muslim Brothers and Sisters — especially my Brothers (because Allah has given men the responsibility of leadership) — if you have not been reading the Qur’an (which is in Arabic and only in Arabic, which is what Allah says, so do not be one of the mukadhdhibeen and call Allah a liar), I am calling on you to admit that you have never ever read the Qur’an.

Just ‘fess up and say:

“I have never ever read the Qur’an.”

That’s all. Do that, and you will be helping yourself and many, many other Muslims. In fact, you will be helping every person in the world — even if just a little.


Please join Brother Solomon and myself for this very special sharing and conversation.

The American Muslim 360 website (which may be currently non-functional):

The American Muslim 360 Purple Politics website:
(or find the link at http://americanmuslim360.com/)

Purple Politics seeks to bring fair balanced reporting on the issues that matter in the lives of everyday people because we care about the state of our world. Peace is our vision, mission and hope for all of humanity! Your comments matter to us. Peace 2U!

Dear Listeners, my good Brothers and Sisters, please check out my other blogs from time to time. They are:

Doctor Hakeem: African-American Commentaries


Word-to-Word: A Comparative Study of the Bible and the Qur’an


Take it easy.

As-Salaamu alaikum wa-rahmatul-Laahi wa-barakaatuh!

Brother Lester

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